Seven Tips to Get Focused in January

As December excesses make way for January stresses we can be left with a mix of trepidation for the new year and the hope it brings, mixed with ‘back to work’ and throwing ourselves in to our usual life. Here are seven ways to keep your focus as we start 2021.

1. Vision – pace & focus!  

“If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”

It is traditional to make new year’s resolutions and it is also common place to break these resolutions by the third week in January!  Typical reasons for failure include making too much change too quickly and not being totally committed to the outcome. If you have decided to go running 5 times a week, you need to consider how that will feel and whether it sustainable in your life. Consider your whole life, not just one aspect of it. What does an ideal day look like? Try it out a few times – is it working for you? Or does it need a tweak? Be aware that to have the life you truly want you may need to let go of some comfortable habits.
Get clear on your vision and the reason behind each change you want to make.

Visualise how it will feel once you have made that change. Is it compelling enough for you to ensure that change?

We have a free workshop called Powerful Vision, Powerful You. on 15th January to explore the new you and this aspect of your success  in more detail. If you cannot make the workshop, it is available on replay for My Wellbeing Club members.

2. You are more important than your job

Prioritise one good thing you can do today which your future self will thank you for.

Does work take over your life and make it hard to make change? Remember that your best decisions will be made when you have a creative and relaxed mind. Whilst making time for yourself may seem impossible, bear in mind that not ever hour of the day is equally productive. You may work until midnight, but was it your best work? Give yourself regular breaks to get away from your screen and do something physical. This increases blood flow and helps your mind to reset. If you really don’t have an hour for yoga, try regular stretching and a 10 minute walk. This will also help to relieve neck tensioning eye strain which can lead to headaches.

3. Sleep 

 A bad night’s sleep can impact your functionality the next day.

It is estimated that 90 minutes less sleep will reduce your thinking capability by 30%.

Sleep is something we do (or try to do) every night. Restful sleep will allow you to reach for your goals more easily. It’s hard to be creative with your solutions when you are struggling to keep your mood up and your participation in life to the max.

Use the REST method for getting better sleep

Routine. Go to bed at the same time each night and set your alarm for the same time in the morning.
Environment. Make sure your room is dark, cool and free from noise. Ear plugs and eye masks can help. If your brain is still racing, try some white noise such as the Rain Rain app to give you naturally soothing sounds.
Stimulation. Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine in the afternoon. It takes 6 hours for caffeine to leave your system. Limit screen time in the evening and if you do want to watch a bit of TV make it funny or light hearted where you can.
Thinking. Get your mind in to the best place by writing down 10 good things that have happened that day or things you are grateful for, just before bed. Maybe it was a chat with Mum or a smile from your son, all of these thoughts help towards a good night’s sleep.

4. Rocks, Gravel & Sand 

Keep focused by planning your day.

This will help you to include the new aspects of your life more easily. At the end of each day create a list of tasks for the following day. This will help you to let go of the day and leave work behind you.

Create a list of the three most important things to do the next day, these are your ‘rocks’. Then think about what is important but can wait to the day after – do them if you can, don’t worry about it if you can’t, this is your ‘gravel’. The ‘sand’ is the small items you can fit in if you have time. This could be your social media posting or the newsletter. This exercise is about focusing on the important things first. If you have a business, ensure your team do the same and agree what the team rocks are.

5. Delegate and communicate 

Share your thoughts and share your chores!

When we are under pressure or we want to make change, other people often want to help us but don’t know how. Think of positive ways those around you can help. Teenagers can cook dinner, even if it’s basic! Be clear with communication around timescales and expectations with clients, family and yourself. Be clear about how things are going to change to accommodate your new vision or your new life. Rome wasn’t built in a day, be aware that things often take longer than you had hoped.

6. Boundaries 

Help yourself and ask others to help too!

If you are one of the many people who are now working from home, you may find your work and worrying about your work spills over into your home life. Set some boundaries and enlist others to enforce them. For example you could agree to go on a dog walk with a friend at a set time each day to ensure you get out and finish work at 6pm. It’s harder to let someone else down than it is to let down our commitment to ourselves.

Wider commitments can seep in to your life and rob you of the time you set aside for your new life.  Say no. It’s not rude, this is your life.

7. Take one step 

What is the first step you could make?

We can sometimes get bogged down with the notion that the mountain is too big to climb. Our vision is not achievable as it’s too big. Break your goals down in to smaller goals and be inventive and creative about how you achieve them.

One of the most important things to remember is that you are doing the best you can and dismiss your mind monkeys which would have you believe you need to be more or to do more. You are going to totally rock 2021. Go for it!

Need help with getting focused on the living the life you want to live and improving your overall wellbeing and happiness? My Wellbeing Club re-opens its doors on the 1st February, but you need to be on the priority list! Sign up here and get started with your wellbeing plan today!

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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector.